A Summer in Review
written by: SAH
Well, now that the summer movie season is basically over (at least as far as what I want to see), I guess I'll try and catch up on reviewing all the movies. It was my intent to do this as they came out, but, well, I was busy. So, here it is, the summer so far. There are a couple more to come in August, but I'll probably just add them to this list.
In order of the most recently attended:
X-Files: I Want to Believe:
It has an okay story that basically makes for a decent episode of the TV show. However, after 10 years, it's lost a little of it's magic and chemistry. Still, it did make me want to watch old episodes of the show. I give it a C+.
This was a stellar summer movie and a fantastic follow up to the first one. Christopher Nolan really knows what he's doing when it comes to Batman. Also, Heath Ledger 100% deserves the praise he's getting. His turn as the Joker is the best I've ever seen, and possibly the best performance this year. He makes the movie. Until I saw this movie I didn't care about his death. Now I'm a little saddened by it. In addition to Ledger, the movie is packed with good performances, and all-around Batman coolness. This is a must-see. I give it a A.
Hellboy II: The Golden Army:
While better that the first one (it obviously had a much bigger budget), I still had a hard time getting into the characters. I really want to like them. And I think Ron Pearlman is perfectly cast as Hellboy. But somehow I just don't end up caring. And, while Guillermo del Toro's style is visually interesting, it seems like he might have a problem with self control when it comes to showing off his creatures. It makes me worry about the Hobbit movies. I have a feeling they may not be stylistically consistent enough with The Lord of the Rings. Then again, his obvious love of fairy tales gives me hope. So we'll see. I give it a B-.
I think there are two things that hindered this movie. First, it did not feel like the enjoyable, fun, fourth-of-July-weekend movie Will Smith usually does (and does well). And second, it feels like it probably suffered from too much "creative feedback" from producers. I got a strong impression that this movie started as one thing and ended up as something else entirely. Heck, the first half of the movie (which is pretty good) doesn't even feel like it's part of the same story as the second half (which is not as good). I give it a C for Confused.
Though it admittedly does not follow the comic book it's based on (who would believe a character named Shithead anyway), this turned out to be a surprisingly entertaining action movie. It has a few flaws (over/under-produced F/X, the training scenes go on way too long, etc.), but was otherwise a good time, made so primarily by James McAvoy, who plays the lead character. My favorite scene is when he walks out of the office and decides to follow his mysterious destiny. Priceless. You'll need a pretty dark sense of humor to enjoy this one. I give it a B-.
This may be the cutest movie ever made. If you are able to see this movie and not like Wall-E, then you, my friend, have a heart made of stone. Wall-E, who is brought to life by deft Pixar animators and the blips and beeps of Ben Burtt (who gave R2-D2 personality in the Star Wars movies). This Number 5 look-alike shows more emotion than your average Hollywood starlet and has more gadgets than James Bond and Maxwell Smart combined. The adorable characters and amazing animation are wrapped in a movie with a surprisingly strong social message about waste and the carelessness of current human affairs. I give it an A. I enjoyed it as much as Iron Man and The Dark Knight.
Cory Q did review this one and I agree with his assessment. It was funnier and sexier than I thought it would be. I give it a B.
I did review this one. It was better than the first and overall an enjoyable action movie. I give it a B. I'd see it again.
Kung Fu Panda:
When it comes to computer animation, there's Pixar, and then there's everyone else. Dreamworks wants to be as good, but they never quite get there. That said, this was a perfectly enjoyable movie and I thought Jack Black did a good job. I give it a B-.
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull:
Though it was not as good as I'd hoped, it was also not as bad as I'd feared. I think it turned out being a perfectly good addition to the franchise and was certainly enjoyable and entertaining. But, it ranks more with Temple of Doom than Raiders. I give it a B.
Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian:
The movie was on par with the first one. My favorite part is when Jesus destroys their enemies. Sick 'em Jesus! I give it a C.
I did a review for this one. I give it a C+.
It kicked off the season and, surprisingly, remains the most all-around entertaining movie of the summer as far as I'm concerned. It was enjoyable from start to finish, has a good story, and Robert Downey Jr. is absolutely perfect for the lead roll. Jeff Bridges also makes a stellar bad guy. My review. I give it an A.
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